Job description

Job Title: Chief executive
Responsible to: Board of trustees via the chair

Job purpose

  • To provide strategic leadership, vision and direction to enable NCVO to fulfil its vision, mission and strategic goals.
  • Listen to, understand and reflect the concerns of the voluntary sector. Build consensus with others to adopt NCVO's views or positions and to manage reputation (both of NCVO and the wider voluntary sector).
  • Senior NCVO spokesperson, required to communicate via the media, including during crisis communications work on behalf of the wider sector.
  • Influence and engage with a wide range of stakeholders, face to face and through traditional and social media.
  • Offer thought leadership in and about the voluntary sector while listening carefully to the views of NCVO members and other key stakeholders.
  • Ensure NCVO is an efficient and financially sustainable organisation with an inclusive and values driven organisational culture.

Our structure

NCVO has a board of 12 non-executive trustees the majority of whom are elected by member organisations.

NCVO’s employs around 100 staff who are organised into three departments, each headed by a director. The directors together with the chief executive make up the senior management team.

The chief executive manages the directors of our three departments:

  • Enterprise and development: our membership team supports NCVO’s 14,000 members and develops our training and events, and our marketing team make sure our members can find what they need. Our excellence team runs our quality standards (Trusted Charity and Investing in Volunteers), and our enterprise development team manages our relationships with businesses. NCVO Charities Evaluation Services supports organisations to measure their impact.
  • Public policy and volunteering: our communications and policy teams advocate on behalf of the voluntary sector and volunteering, our research team conducts authoritative research on charities and volunteering, and our volunteering team helps charities and other organisations to be great at involving volunteers.
  • Planning and resources: our digital and data team ensure we’re providing support to our members in the most effective and efficient ways. Our conference services team manage our highly popular venue, while our IT, finance, HR and facilities teams make sure the whole organisation runs smoothly. This department also supports NCVO’s board and looks after NCVO’s organisational planning and reporting.

The chief executive also manages an executive assistant who supports the chief executive and chair.

Main accountabilities of the post

1. Advocacy and communication

  • Ensure that NCVO effectively champions civil society and the voluntary sector.
  • Ensure that NCVO builds on and develops its external profile enabling it to represent the voluntary sector effectively with all relevant opinion formers and stakeholders.
  • Ensure that the brand and profile of NCVO is developed and promoted to foster support for the organisation with all stakeholders.
  • Develop the convening and partnering opportunities of NCVO in order to achieve greater leverage and collective impact, for the benefit of members and the wider sector.

2. Strategy development and operational management

  • Develop a new vision and strategy for NCVO, seeking appropriate input from the board, members, staff and other stakeholders.
  • Work with the senior management team to develop operational plans and budgets in line with the strategy, ensuring the achievement by all staff of NCVO’s objectives and targets.
  • Ensure that NCVO represents an excellent value proposition to member organisations through its convening power, its voice and its services; listening to and understanding member views and needs and forging and maintaining strong relationships with them.
  • Ensure that NCVO continues to effectively foster and contribute to cutting edge thinking and innovation.

3. Organisational leadership

  • Nurture an inclusive, values driven organisational culture of shared learning and co-operation, of commitment to improvement and high performance, and to the ongoing professional development of all staff.
  • Work closely with the chair to secure appropriate input and support from the board and to ensure that the board discharges its governance, constitutional and legal responsibilities properly.
  • Provide inspiring and empowering leadership to the senior management team and the organisation.

Big challenges for this role

The big challenges facing the post are:

  • Ensuring NCVO acts as a collective and effective voice for a disparate and diverse voluntary sector
  • Adapting to rapid changes in the external environment while staying true to NCVO’s core vision and mission
  • Building consensus to enable NCVO to effectively represent the voluntary sector
  • Knowing when to listen and when to challenge

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